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Sep 17, 2014
Yukking It Up


(KIAWAH ISLAND, SC) After a wind-battered winter round on America's Toughest Resort Course," who couldn’t use some good laughs? Kiawah Island Golf Resort will give their guests a chance to do just that this January with their first annual Kiawah Comedy Weekend.  The event runs January 23-25, 2015 with two nights featuring lineups of nationally recognized, clean comedians with credits including The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show, Conan and networks including Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, CMT and many more. The performances, which will be different each night, will take place at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Comedians slated to appear include Julie Scoggins, Mike Armstrong, Jeff Jena, Sid Davis, Danny Browning, Keith Alberstadt and Bengt Washburn. Weekend packages are being offered that include special seating at both nights of comedy performances, a special Q & A session with select comedians, and accommodations in a West Beach Villa or at the Sanctuary. Sounds like the kind of weekend the European Ryder Cup team could have used back in 1991. 

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Sep 15, 2014
Trumping the President


(NEW YORK) Maybe the rest of us shouldn’t complain when we can’t get onto the country’s elite courses. Perhaps you’ve heard by now that President Obama was in New York over Labor Day Weekend to attend a wedding. Naturally, he wanted to squeeze in a round of golf. But according to an NBC New York report, he was turned down by the Trump National Golf Club, Winged Foot and Willow Ridge. Seems none of these clubs wanted to inconvenience their members by shutting down over a busy weekend. Obama wasn’t singled out. King Mohammed VI of Morocco couldn’t get a tee time that weekend either. And these same clubs snubbed bill Clinton when he was he was in office. The clubs aren’t talking, with one notable exception: Donald Trump responded to the reports of Obama being rebuffed with a tweet: If Obama resigns from office NOW... I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my courses!"

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Sep 12, 2014
Worth the Wait


(BLYTHEWOOD, S.C.) The recently unveiled clubhouse at Cobblestone Park Golf Club serves as a nice illustration for the journey private golf communities have been through in the last decade. The P.B. Dye-designed golf course first opened as the University Club in 1995 as part of the Cobblestone Park community. Home to the University of South Carolina's men's and women's golf teams, the course is widely hailed as one of the South’s best. In 2008, the old, smaller clubhouse was torn down to make way for a bigger and better version. Then the real estate recession came along. For nearly five years, the unfinished new clubhouse sat virtually untouched, a rusting eyesore. Homebuilder D. R. Horton saved the day when it bought the Cobblestone property in 2012 and immediately began updating its investment. Finally, six years after it was begun, the new 28,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, overlooking the finishing holes of the course, is a point of pride in the community. The three-story Colonial Revival clubhouse includes a main level with restaurant and bar, double-sided fireplace and banquet room, an upstairs level with boardroom space and bride’s and groom’s wedding suites, and a lower level with golf shop, men’s and women’s locker rooms, lounges and golf cart storage area.

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Sep 10, 2014
Senior Strategy


(ROCKY RIVER, OH) With due respect to the First Tee, the golf industry may be looking in the wrong direction to grow the game. This week’s Club & Resort Business reports,  “golf seems to be paying scant attention to an age group that is not only America’s fastest-growing but the most able to afford golf and club membership, and likely already involved in the game: namely, seniors age 65 and up.” Seniors have the time, the money, and the desire to play more golf. An increasing number of clubs are catering their programs to tap into this growing market and it seems to be paying off. Reduced membership fees as players age (and presumably play less), fitness regimens, and more senior-friendly tees are all being used to cater to seniors. One of the most innovative and successful programs is taking place at Ka’anapali Golf Resort on Maui where they instituted a unique solution to the problem some seniors have of playing a full 18 holes. Their “Golf My Way” program lets anyone (not just seniors) purchase an 18-hole round and play it any way they want. Play three holes and stop for breakfast? No problem.  At some Mosaic Clubs & Resorts there are programs where membership dues actually decline as members hit 60, 70, 75 or even 80. Some 80-year olds end up paying very minimal or no monthly dues at all.

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Sep 08, 2014
Choppy Seas


HORSHAM, PA) Rather than a smooth housing recovery, there will be “choppy seas and a sloppy boat ride,” Toll Brothers chairman, Robert Toll, told Bloomberg News last week.  The largest U.S. luxury home builder has seen orders for new homes fall in the last three months and has lowered its forecast for new homes for the year. Instead of delivering 5,850 homes, they expect at most to deliver 5,500. While that may not be good news for the industry, there’s no reason to feel bad for Toll Brothers. Their fiscal third-quarter earnings more than doubled thanks to rising prices. The average price of homes sold in the quarter climbed from $651,000 to $732,000. Toll Brothers’ revenue also rose to $1.06 billion from $689.2 million a year earlier. Doesn’t seem like too sloppy a boat ride after all.

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